Author Archive

Imaginings!

A ribbon cutting on August 30th will realize the last piece of an exciting concept for downtown Norfolk’s Selden Market.

Already a vibrant place for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to develop and test new ideas in retail, food and art, the historic space once known as the Selden Arcade now boasts the Slover Makerspace, where anyone with a Norfolk library card can manufacture dreams. The space is outfitted with eight 3D printers, a 75-watt laser cutter, 17 Singer sewing machines and several soldering stations. The Makerspace is adjacent to Slover Library.

WPA congratulates the Slover on the space. We are excited and proud to have been a part of the process to design this place for new imaginings!

Spreading the Word

Sometimes we are so focused on our own practices and communities that we don’t stop to think that there may be worthwhile messages to share with others.

Practitioners who traveled to CNU 26: Savannah (Congress of the New Urbanism) in May learned about Norfolk’s Vision 2100. A multi-disciplinary team led and in-depth discussion on efforts to address sea-level rise and resilience to protect the city’s sweeping tidal landscape from recurrent flooding. The Ohio creek Watershed project, funded by a grant as a result of the National Disaster Resilience Competition, was featured. Presenters included Stephanie Bothwell, Urban and Landscape Design, Washington, D.C., Ann P. Stokes, Ann P. Stokes Landscape Architects, Norfolk, and WPA’s Mel Price.

WPA then headed to New York City for the AIA National Convention, June 21-23. WPA helped make eight videos for the Small Firm Exchange, dealing with such issues as attracting and retaining talent.

Neighborhood Rising

After three days of lively charrettes, residents of Norfolk’s Tidewater Gardens community are closer to a new envisioned future.

WPA participated in the mid-July event for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative HUD Grant with the City of Norfolk, NRHA, The Communities Group, Ray Gindroz, and the lead architect and planner, Torti Gallas + Partners.

Meeting at the Basilica of St. Mary’s, participants advanced a plan for the St. Paul’s Area Redevelopment Phase 1 that creates a framework for new development that meets the needs of the community. The next round of community input is expected in August. 

The plan includes new street connections, flooding abatement and a range of housing options from mid-rise apartments to single family, along with an enlivened Church Street to include new retail.

This most recent charrette, as with all planning efforts for the community, is guided by seven planning principles:

– Create a park system to protect from flooding and provide recreation amenities

– Create a community-wide campus with educational opportunities for all ages

– Restore church Street as the heart of the community with shops, food stores, health and medical facilities

– Create pedestrian Scale connections to opportunities in the larger community

– Build a pattern of neighborhood streets and blocks to create a framework for a mixed-use, mixed income community

– Provide a diverse mix of residential development ranging from single-family and town homes to small and large scale apartments

– Provide employment opportunities at the edges of the community for residents

Rendrings provided by Depiction Illustration 

wpa